BJ Randall, Assistant National Sales Manager – Material Handling, recently spent time with Levi Greeson, Machinist and CNC Operator, both at New Age Industrial. Bj had the opportunity to interview him on site at our manufacturing facility. Levi shared his thoughts and expertise about fabrication, why it’s an important part of the manufacturing process, and what makes New Age Industrial superior to the competition.
BJ: How long have you been working for New Age Industrial?
Levi: I’ve been with New Age for seventeen and a half (17 ½) years. I started in the fabrication department. I ran a CNC controlled turret punch for about 10 years. I moved from machine to machine, and I’m now a machinist for our production machine side.
BJ: Exactly what is a machinist?
Levi: A machinist takes a lot of little parts that are going to be used in the final product. A lot of times it’s taking a tube and drilling a hole or drilling and tapping a hole on a piece to use for the end product.
BJ: What is fabrication?
Levi: Fabrication is a broad term. We do a lot of work with sheet aluminum where it goes through the turret punch and punches out certain objects that get bend for the final product. On the machining side, we take a lot of the smaller parts to drill and tap or mill them down to size to be used for the final product as well.
BJ: What skills are needed to be successful in the fabrication department?
Levi: You need to be decent with math skills. Attention to detail is probably the biggest thing, making sure your parts are the right length or the right size.
BJ: What are some of the common terms used in the fabrication department?
Levi: Bending, where you’re taking a flat sheet and bending it to a certain dimension. Punching, we do a lot of punching in angle and sheet.
BJ: Do you work with aluminum only?
Levi: We do mostly aluminum, some steel, and sheet metal.
BJ: What is your favorite machine to run?
Levi: Probably our Hurco Machine. It’s a big milling machine that’s got an 84-inch travel table, so you can do a lot of big parts on it. There are four (4) vices on it so you can do a lot of parts at one time which makes the process faster.
BJ: What does a normal day look like for you?
Levi: Usually you know the day before what you will have going on the next day. You get a “job” and look at the blueprints, check all your parts, and start running them. It shows individual prints as well so you can look at the individual prints versus the master prints, which is the final product. Then you can see where those individual parts actually go and work off of that.
BJ: What makes the fabrication department such an important part of the overall manufacturing process?
Levi: It’s one of the first steps in the process, so if something isn’t caught in our department, it will get all the way through welding. Then the final product won’t turn out like it’s supposed to.
BJ: Why do you think New Age’s products are superior to their competitors?
Levi: The pride in everyone’s work that work here and the attention to detail are the biggest reasons.
BJ: New Age Industrial products are Made in the USA. What does being Made in the USA mean to you?
Levi: To me I think it’s the pride in our work. Here, we do most of our own extruding in-house, so we have the ability to have a hand in the whole process.
BJ: What’s your favorite thing about working here?
Levi: It’s the family environment. New Age treats their employees remarkably well. Whether it’s with sick kids or sporting events, they go out of their way to help all the employees out. The benefits are amazing! It’s just a great place to work!
BJ: Levi, Thanks for letting us invade your space today and thank you for everything you do here at New Age Industrial!
New Age Industrial is the leading aluminum extruder and fabricator of storage and transportation equipment in the United States. We design and manufacture heavy duty, yet lightweight aluminum products to meet your exact needs. We work with various industries including foodservice, supermarket, and material handling. For more information, contact us today, and our team will help find you the perfect product that fits your needs.